As we’re all taught from an early age, fires are dangerous and everyone should take appropriate measures to try to prevent fires from igniting in the first place. Though the reality is, fires can ignite from a wide range of sources and you never know when a fire can spark which can put you and others in great danger. Naturally, the Australian Government has implemented a series of rules and regulations around fire safety in residential, commercial, and industrial properties. Some of these rules and regulations involve fire alarms, smoke detectors, sprinkler systems, along with firefighting equipment such as fire extinguishers and fire blankets.
While fire alarms and smoke detectors will alert you to a fire, it’s important to remain calm and think logically when facing a fire around you. Fire safety training is mandatory for Australian businesses which teaches staff what to do in the event of a fire, the various evacuation routes, and in most cases, fire extinguisher training.
Fire extinguisher training is very important as being able to suppress a small fire before it intensifies and can avert enormous amounts of damage to valuable equipment and property. There are five different types of fire extinguishers, so knowing which to use on what type of fires is very important as using the incorrect extinguisher can lead to disastrous consequences.
Classes of Fires
To understand what type of fire extinguisher you should use in any given situation, you first need to understand the classes of fires. The following lists the relevant classes of fire in Australia
Class A – Carbon based fires, such as paper, wood, plastic, rubber, and textiles
Class B – Combustible and flammable liquids, such as petrol, oil, and paint
Class C – Combustible gases, such as propane, butane, and methane
Class D – Metal fires, such as magnesium and aluminium
Electrical fires – Any electrical equipment, such as computers, toasters, and hair dryers
Class F – Grease fires, such as lard and cooking oils
Types of Fire Extinguishers
|Type of Fire Extinguisher||Colour of Band||Suitable for|
(Classes of Fires)
|Water||None (All Red)||A|
|CO2||Black||B, Electrical fires|
|Dry Powder||White||A, B, C, Electrical fires|
|Wet Chemical||Oatmeal||A, F|
As you can see, each fire extinguisher is suitable for certain classes of fires and it’s paramount that you use the correct fire extinguisher. For example, using a water fire extinguisher on an electrical fire can be very dangerous. Therefore, all staff should be familiar with each type of fire extinguisher by the coloured band at the top of the extinguisher, and which classes of fires they are effective at extinguishing.
Dry Powder Fire Extinguishers
The type of fire extinguisher we’d like to focus on today is the multi-purpose Dry Powder Fire Extinguisher, which is the most widely used type of fire extinguisher that is suitable for fires in your house, office, boat, garage, car, or caravan.
The Dry Powder Fire Extinguisher discharges a fine powder that absorbs fuel molecules, and extinguishes the fire by depriving the fire of its fuel source. This type of fire extinguisher is effective at containing fires from Class A, B, C, and Electrical fires, however electrical equipment will likely be damaged and may need to be replaced. It’s important to note that this fire extinguisher is not suitable for Class D (metal fires) and Class F (grease fires), and is not appropriate for use in confined places considering that it affects visibility and may cause breathing problems.
The Dry Powder Fire Extinguisher is certified and approved to AS/NZS 1841.5 and is safe, highly versatile, and suited to high risk environments or where fire hazards are mixed. This fire extinguisher is particularly suited to spillages of flammable liquids, fires involving flammable gases, any type of carbon based fires, electrical fires, and are ideal for vehicle fires.
Due to the safe nature and versatility of the Dry Powder Fire Extinguisher, fire experts recommend that every household should have at least one Dry Powder Fire Extinguisher on each floor. Not only will this fire extinguisher contain small fires before they intensify, but it will also assist you in the event that you need to evacuate your house. If you don’t have a Dry Powder Fire Extinguisher in your household, talk to the professionals at King Fire Protection Services on 1300 344 966, or visit our website for further information.